A Rose by Any Other Name

A Rose by Any Other Name

Nights in the roaring city remind bright young things that life’s too short to take for granted. Tucked away in Times Square hides the Pantheon: a secret cabaret for wealthy gay men. Pretty young men in elaborate costumes and rouged lips are eager to please, and the champagne flows all night long. It’s a world of frivolity, fantasy, and debauchery. As Eros, the most sought after performer at the Pantheon, Julius uses his beauty and charm on enthusiastic patrons, but growing weary of superficial love, he longs to make a better life for himself.

Five years after being declared mentally unfit after surviving the trenches of No Man’s Land, Edward Joseph Clarence Junior pieced his shattered life back together. Now he’s ready to take on the family empire. To celebrate his thirtieth birthday, Edward’s cousin takes him to the most posh nightclub in town, the Pantheon. Falling under the sway of Eros, Edward and Julius find a love they’ve never imagined and the chance for a future they had only dared to dream about. But as Ares, a notorious gangster and Julius’s most important—and dangerous— client watches them, the threat to their love and their lives grows by the day.


Chapter 1

 

 

Manhattan, New York, 1927

The Pantheon Cabaret at Club Parisian

 

“THERE’S SOMETHING wild about you, child, that’s so contagious. Let’s be outrageous. Let’s misbehave.”

Julius Knight was quite certain when Mr. Cole Porter came up with that wonderful little ditty he hadn’t expected everyone to take it so to heart. Yet here they all were.

The world had become one of scandalous debauchery and moral depravity, wrapped in the illusion of decadence and served on a silver platter with a glass of bootlegged liquor. As Mr. Porter so lyrically put it, they would all meet their fate, but until the time came, Julius was going to take each and every one of those saps for all they were worth.

“My darling, you look scrumptious!” Aphrodite boisterously swept into Julius’s dressing room with arms wide open. The sequins and beads of her red gown caught the…

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